My Renaissance Jewelry Studio

by Cheryl Dunham.
(United States)

Soldering station

Soldering station

These pictures are of my studio, I had been preparing jewelry for 6 shows and my studio became so messed up that I couldn’t find anything.

Bead Closet, beads sorted by color.

Bead Closet, beads sorted by color.

Took me 4 days to clean it up, but when I was done it was a joy to work in. Now I’m picking up after each project, so much easier.

Bench with roll press, metal shear, buffer, drill press, and kiln

Bench with roll press, metal shear, buffer, drill press, and kiln

This shelving unit is made from strapping. Very inexpensive, and you can set your shelves to any height.

This shelving unit is made from strapping. Very inexpensive, and you can set your shelves to any height.

Cheryl Dunham
Renaissance Jewelry

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  1. I love your storage and organizing solutions. Also your clever use of wall space, such as the shelves hung behind the door (in the last photo), and other things hung up neatly right where they’re handy. It looks like a lot of thought went into making this room into a pleasant, efficient, well organized jewelry studio. Thank you for inviting us into your wonderful creative space, Cheryl! 🙂

  2. Wow! I wish you would do my studio! I sure understand how messy it gets when preparing for a show. I have the same table you have for your soldering station. Works great! I love the shelf above it! Thanks for sharing! You gave me great inspiration to get in there and do it!

  3. Jan, the peg board that I have my hammers and other small tools on is a plastic peg board, actually 4 of them, bought from Walmart. I have 4 panels and have plenty of items to work from. But for my favorite is the shelving unit my son-in-law made me. I’m thinking of making another one. It stores so much in such a small space. Well worth what ever it costs. Good luck on designing your work space. I’m sure you will, with design, be able to utilize every inch. Cheryl

  4. Hi Cheryl! Your workspace looks really great. My own is a mess right now I am also preparing for a show, but I like your shelving unit behind the door and I will buy one soon, its a great space saver. Thanks for the sharing!!

  5. Great studio space!
    I spend more time organizing and rearranging space and materials than I do creating. I’m beginning to wonder if making jewelry and other creative acts is just an excuse to organize. Lol. Maybe a little OCD going on?

    I love those narrow shelves behind the door. I have no idea what strapping is. I did a google search but found nothing relevant. Strapping baskets, strapping tape etc but nothing that looks like you can make shelves with it.
    What is it made from? Steel/metal? Wood? Is there another name maybe?

    Also love your benches. I saw something at harbor freight that is similar to the one on the right. The metal sheeting on the other bench is brilliant.

  6. Cheryl Dunham says:

    Strapping is used in home building. It’s wood side on the ceiling so you can put your Sheetrock up and have something to nail it to. You can buy it at home depot or lowes. It is very inexpensive.
    I did buy my bench from Harbor Freight, I love it too.
    I use the sheet metal to protect the wood when I’m using my torch. My other bench has floor tiles to protect it. They are cheap at Home Depot.
    Glad you like my studio.

  7. I have the same workbench and I love it. I find cleaning up after each use is the best. I have a tv too and watch Lifetime movies endlessly while creating. Where did you get the roll press?

  8. Meryl Urdang says:

    Thanks so much for sharing such useful info. I’d love to get hold of one of the wooden carts at the bottom of the closet that appear to store jewelry trays. Are they available to purchase?


  9. I got the rollpress from my local silversmith Warg Silver in Scarborough, Maine. I think Contenti carries the same one. Check their ad in art jewelry magazine.

  10. I got the bead tray holder from, they have all kinds of fun stuff.

  11. Maretha Hines says:

    I use the 64 drawer storage centers by AKRO-MILS to store my findings (headpins, eye pins etc.). I store them according to the type (gold plated, silver plated etc.). I label each drawer. My findings are easier to find this way. I am still not as organized as I’d like to be. I need to find a system and containers to store my beads. In fact I’m trying to organize a room just for making and storing my jewelry supplies.

  12. Loretta Poe says:

    Hi—I have been making different styles of jewelry for a couple years now. I love this site and spend a couple hours going through every newsletter!! I can’t tell you how much it has helped me!! I hope to open an online store in the future. I love wire work but I still need a lot of practice! My fave has become chainmaille with Swarovsky or other semi precious stones and I cut my own rings now as well.
    Keep up the great work!!

  13. Wow, what a dream! One day I will have something like this! Congrats!

  14. Wow. How good it looks and easy to get to. I have chalk-painted an old dining hutch that I purchased at Salvation Army for $26! It’s met best bargain ever. But I don’t know how to store in it correctly to make it as helpful as it can be. The shelves are about 9″ wide. I have my beads in divided bead boxes and small jars. Should I go into one storage method for my beads? Then, there is my wire!!! This messy pattern seems to follow me where ever I make my jewelry!!!!! Any “begin-to-organize my space” ideas? Remember, this is a many-a-year personality trait. My beading friend calls my world space “my mountain of
    designs waiting to be made. Thanks very much. Rena and you all inspire me!! CLJ.

  15. Cheryl Dunham says:

    For storing wire, I store mine in my bench draw with an anti tarnish cloth, in ziplock bags with the gauge and type of wire written on the bag. If you don’t have a draw, you could use an expandable file box, label each size and type of wire on the tab, put the coiled wire in a ziplock bag and store it in that file space. It keeps everything from tangling up, and it is easy to find the gauge wire you need.

  16. The best storage units that I have found for my stash of beads is the plastic vial bottles that coin collectors use to store their coins. I use the dimes, nickels, and quarter size more than any other, but they also come as large as the half dollar and also the penny size. The lids screw on so they will not spill and if you set them upside down so you can see thru the bottom then you know what the color is at a glance.

  17. CarolAnne, what a great tip! Thanks so much for sharing this helpful idea. 🙂

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